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Making It Worth It

I tell my clients, students, friends and family all the time that all the hard work that is put into healthy eating and exercise isn’t worth it if you can’t live a little and splurge here and there. I put this into practice all the time.

Take yesterday for example…


My day started with pancakes.


And ended at Nolen Kitchen with a big plate of zucchini chips in front of me at a girl’s night. Yes, I’d already splurged that day but I also rarely get nights with the girls so I didn’t think twice about diving in.


I ordered pork belly tacos for dinner.


And we all shared a trio of sides that included the most amazing roasted cauliflower with pine nuts and an orange beet sauce, Israli couscous and brussels sprouts (that could have used about 5-10 more minutes of cooking time…they were very crunchy).


The night ended at the pub next door where I ordered a vodka soda. I cannot tell you the last time I drank a cocktail at 11 p.m. on a Thursday night (that was soooo the regular in college…we didn’t go out until 11 p.m.!).

I got home fromΒ my evening out at midnight feeling happy and grateful to have such great friends…without an ounce of guilt.


This morning I woke up and got back on the bandwagon. I made myself a green smoothie with mango, pineapple, peaches, spinach and lots of coconut water to rehydrate and get some good stuff in me to start the day. I headed to the gym and took the 8:30 a.m. circuit training class which was full of enough burpees to make you sweat like crazy.


Lunch was a salad.


So as we go into the weekend, I encourage all of you to give yourself a break and live a little. Order a glass of wine, eat a cupcake, get a side of fries…you have earned it! πŸ™‚

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Parita @ myinnershakti May 30, 2014, 3:31 pm

    Agree with this 100%! And that is why my husband and I are going out for pizza today – can’t wait!

    • 2
      Jen May 30, 2014, 3:32 pm

      pizza is like my favorite friday food ever!

      • 3
        Bonnie May 30, 2014, 5:55 pm

        Best Friday food ever, yes! And enjoy your pizza, Parita. πŸ˜‰

  • 4
    Jojo @ RunFastEatLots May 30, 2014, 3:33 pm

    I approve of this message πŸ™‚

    Today, I had a cupcake and it was delicious.

  • 6
    Claudia May 30, 2014, 3:36 pm

    This is why I love your blog, you keep it real thanks.

  • 7
    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen May 30, 2014, 3:52 pm

    You are sooo great!! Thanks for being open, honest, real and encouraging us to live a little!! πŸ™‚

  • 8
    Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run May 30, 2014, 4:19 pm

    great outlook! your lunch salad looks delicious… and I, too, would be ALL over zucchini chips!

  • 9
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine May 30, 2014, 4:43 pm

    Haha, you smoothie always looks so precariously balanced on that railing! Has it ever fallen? :O

  • 10
    Amy @ The Little Honey Bee May 30, 2014, 4:54 pm

    This post is perfect!

  • 11
    mary @ minutes per mile May 30, 2014, 5:35 pm

    great advice! also, pork belly tacos sound amazing. πŸ™‚

  • 12
    Bonnie May 30, 2014, 5:59 pm

    Love this message! You’re still advocating being strong and fit and healthy with your choices but sharing the message of no guilt is so right on! I’m planning to have a glass of wine tonight and will enjoy it with friends full blast! Not to mention I most the time eat a little taste of sugar most days. πŸ˜‰ I read consistently but don’t always comment; thanks for the great posts and inspiration!

  • 13
    Kait May 30, 2014, 6:14 pm

    Love the message in the post!

  • 14
    She Rocks Fitness May 30, 2014, 6:20 pm

    High-Fives to that and I hope you have a beautiful weekend darling! PS: I am going to try to shop at Target next week to find some fun summer dresses and those razorback tanks! XOXO

  • 15
    Kim @ FITsique May 30, 2014, 7:38 pm

    A great reminder that there is more to life than your workout and diet! Enjoy the weekend <3

  • 16
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun May 30, 2014, 8:25 pm

    Love this! Sometimes we all need a little break πŸ™‚

  • 17
    amelia @i_heart_kale May 30, 2014, 9:21 pm

    I say the same to my clients all the time. Same goes for working out. Sometimes the body likes and needs rest, as well as switching up exercises to keep your muscles guessing. Gotta live life and be happy. Its no fun to be rigid all the time. People remember your smile and friendship, not your pant size or what you eat.
    Thanks for being such a healthy example and sharing your passions and advice with everyone! πŸ™‚ Happy weekend Jen!

  • 18
    Brittany Lesser May 31, 2014, 1:18 pm

    Love this, totally agree! Life is allll about balance.

    • 19
      Jen June 1, 2014, 7:30 am

      i would reach out to her directly. i’m sure she can make them for you!

  • 20
    Dean June 1, 2014, 7:38 am

    I agree. You have to reward yourself for all of your hard work. And also know that it’s ok to enjoy yourself from time to time πŸ™‚

  • 21
    tara June 2, 2014, 2:16 pm

    i think you have such a great approach on this, but can i ask a question….
    i think this approach is extra great if you are already at or near your goal weight, but what about if you have weight to lose ? Let me say….no one can be perfect all the time and everyone has special occasions where they need a cupcake. I also know no diet can be successful if totally excludes your fave food and all of that, but one thing i think sometimes when i read your blog is that i’m not sure how to relate it to myself. I have about 20 lbs to lose and feel like if you have weight to lose, in general there needs to be a bit of deprivation (maybe not the best word but i think you know what i mean) or the scale just will not budge. I’ve got the workout thing down decent but i really have a hard time with the food part. For me, I find that i cannot treat myself to often or it leads down a slippery slope. Have you always been slim ? Can you share any thoughts on what you tell your clients in this situation ? I know it sounds silly but sometimes i think to myself “well look at what jen eats, if i eat that and workout why am i not losing weight”. But i remind myself that your goal is not to necessarily lose weight but to maintain and fuel your body for the workouts and lifestyle you lead (that’s my guess but dont let me put words in your mouth). My goal is to lose weight so i would need to alter my approach. I know you never say “eat and do what i do and you will look like i do” but sometimes i’m on the other end of the internet wishing it were true : )~
    Just curious your thoughts.

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